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noun, plural referendums, referenda
[ref-uh-ren-duh] /ˌrɛf əˈrɛn də/ (Show IPA)
the principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection.
Compare initiative (def 4a).
a measure thus referred.
a vote on such a measure.
noun (pl) -dums, -da (-də)
submission of an issue of public importance to the direct vote of the electorate
a vote on such a measure
a poll of the members of a club, union, or other group to determine their views on some matter
a diplomatic official’s note to his government requesting instructions
referendum [(ref-uh-ren-duhm)]

A vote by the general public, rather than by governmental bodies, on a bill or some other important issue; a plebiscite. (See under “American Politics.”)
referendum [(ref-uh-ren-duhm)]

A direct popular vote on an issue of public policy, such as a proposed amendment to a state constitution or a proposed law. Referendums, which allow the general population to participate in policymaking, are not used at the national level, but are common at the state and local levels. A referendum is often used to gauge popular approval or rejection of laws recently passed or under consideration by a state legislature. A referendum can also be used to initiate legislative action.


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